US sanctions on Bangladesh’s security forces are politically motivated and a despicable attempt to force Bangladesh to surrender to its slavery. Former United States Senator Robert Reich tweeted a few days ago. He said there were 984 extrajudicial killings in the United States in 2020. According to various US media reports, at least 6,700 people have been extrajudicially killed by law enforcement in the United States since 2015. That means an average of 1,000 people die without trial each year in the United States. Of these, 7,303 are males and 294 are females. There were 3,607 people with firearms. 1,119 people with knives. 216 people including cars. 244 people with toy pistols. And 421 unarmed.
The United States has banned four people United States, including a Bangladeshi police chief and a RAB DG. Allegedly, that was extrajudicial killing. It is new for the US policy to involve the head of an organization when allegations are made against it. The US sanctions against the RAB and its officials as regrettable for Bangladesh. Regarding the US sanctions against seven former and current RAB officers but any allegations should be based on information. It is not correct to say that 600 people have died in 10 years. In a country like the United States, which has a mature democracy, such allegations are not desirable. Because six lakh people go missing in their country every year in the USA.
The United States has banned seven former and current RAB officers for alleged human rights abuses. The ban was imposed separately by the US Treasury Department and the State Department on International Human Rights Day on Friday.
Former RAB Director General Benazir Ahmed is among the officials who came under the ban. He is now the Inspector General of Police (IGP). The US State Department has banned Benazir Ahmed from entering the United States. He has also been banned by the US Treasury Department. Apart from this, the current Director General (DG) of RAB Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun, Additional Director General (Operations) Khan Mohammad Azad, former Additional Director General (Operations) Tofail Mustafa Sarwar, former Additional Director General (Operations) Md. Jahangir Alam and former Additional Director General (Operations) said. The US Treasury Department has also banned Anwar Latif Khan. The US State Department issued a separate statement banning Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed from entering the country. Ekramul Haque, a municipal councilor in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar, has been charged in May 2016 with involvement in serious human rights violations through extrajudicial killings.
The security force does not violate human rights. Rab protects the human rights of people and maintains law and order in the country, Commander Khandaker Al Moin, Rab legal and media wing director mentioned the statement.
The force’s former Director General (DG) Benazir Ahmed, now inspector general of police, current DG Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun were among the officials designated by the Department of the Treasury under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program in connection with serious rights abuse.
A total of 28 members of the force, having only 9,000 members, have sacrificed their lives to protect human rights and maintain law and order so far. Besides, more than 1,000 members were severely injured and 2,000 others were injured during performing their duty.
About the gunfights, the Rab official mentioned that they opened fire only for self-defense when they are attacked by the criminals during drives. None is above the law in the force in Bangladesh the law enforcement agency always takes strict action against its force members who violate the law. All such incidents in our country are subject to judicial inquiry. A magistrate checks it. That was the reason behind the accident, whether it was due to negligence or not. Wherever they find any negligence, a case is filed against them and if there is no negligence, it is closed there. When terrorists aim for firearms, the security forces may often fire to save lives. Whether it was legitimate or reasonable for him is being investigated.
As per the report Human Rights Watch In 2019, the United States continued to move backward on rights. The inhumane immigration policies and promoted false narratives that perpetuate racism and discrimination; did not do nearly enough to address mass incarceration; undermined the rights of women
The US continues to have the highest reported criminal incarceration rate in the world, with 2.2 million people in jails and prisons and another 4.5 million on probation and parole as of 2017, the latest year for which Bureau of Justice Statistics figures was available at the time of writing. The figures show a slight decrease in the number of people incarcerated from 2016 to 2017.
Government tracking of police violence continues to be incomplete. According to the Washington Post, police reportedly shot and killed 783 people in the US in 2019. Of those killed whose race is known, 20 percent were black even though blacks make up 13 percent of the population.
Recognition grew in 2019 that current racial disparities in policing, criminal justice, and other aspects of American life cannot be understood without reference to slavery and its continuing impact on society.
The public release of a criminal indictment of Julian Assange, creator of WikiLeaks, for alleged violations of the Espionage Act prompted widespread concern among journalists that the government could begin prosecuting media outlets that publish classified information—even if the release of the information is in the public interest. Such prosecutions would hinder media freedom and impede the public’s right to receive information.
Men espousing white supremacist, anti-Semitic, and misogynist views continued to carry out mass shootings in 2019. In El Paso, Texas, a man allegedly killed 22 people and injured 27 others after posting a racist text online. In California, a man allegedly killed a woman and wounded three other congregants at a synagogue. In Dayton, Ohio, a man who reportedly had a history of threatening behavior toward women killed nine people and injured 27 more.
The US continued targeted killings of terrorist suspects in countries including Yemen and Somalia, many with armed drones. It also carried out large-scale military operations against non-state armed groups including the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria. In May, the Department of Defense reported that in 2018, 120 civilians were killed and approximately 65 civilians injured during US military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia, and no civilian casualties from US operations in Yemen or Libya. Independent tracking organizations published civilian casualty estimates related to US operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya that far exceed those of the Defense Department. The US did not publicly report any casualties from lethal operations by the Central Intelligence Agency.
US sanctions on Bangladesh’s security forces are politically motivated and a despicable attempt to force Bangladesh to surrender to its slavery. The people of Bangladesh will resist these ill-motivated sanctions against the heads of the organization.
The writer is an Essayist and Research Fellow.
– Hiren Pandit